Monday, July 15, 2013

Our favorite place??

Thank you all so much for following along with us these last several months while we’ve been planning our trip of a lifetime.  And for joining us as we reported live from the seas.  But just because we are back doesn’t mean it’s over!  We hope that as we continue to share more information about the places we’ve been and our experiences along the way that these posts will be helpful to others who are planning trips to these areas – whether by land or by sea! 

The most common question we’ve been asked upon our return is “what was your favorite place?”  Our answer is always the same – we can’t say!  There are things about each place that we absolutely loved. So for today, we’ll share our favorite thing about each place.

Barcelona:  We aren’t big on touring church buildings, but a visit to La Sagrada Familia is something to behold. While it seems a bit of a mess outside, the inside is beautiful and definitely a work in progress. If you go, try to get your tickets ahead of time to avoid the lines. We didn’t do a tour, just went for an inside visit, but fellow travelers said the climb of the towers was good.

French Riviera:  While we visited Monaco and Monte Carlo, I really enjoyed our stop in Eze. It’s a medieval village and so quaint to walk through. I wish we had been there earlier in the day so we wouldn’t be so tired by the time we got there, so my recommendation would be to visit there earlier in the day or not combine it with an all day tour to other areas.

Cinque Terre:  Taking the train was quite the adventure, but our favorite part of Cinque Terre was seeing each of the villages and noticing the differences among them. Our favorite was Vernazza, probably because we had the best sandwich there for lunch.

Rome:  Once we finished our list of things we wanted to see, our driver took us around Rome to see areas that he wanted to show us including going to an area where you can see vistas of Rome and the Vatican City.  Away from the throngs of people, we felt like we were overlooking the whole city.

Athens:  The Acropolis and her buildings were so amazing to look at.  Just thinking about how long they have been there and are still there for us to see was inspiring.

Ephesus:  The ancient city of Ephesus, walking the streets that the early Christians walked.

Mykonos:  What a wonderful place, so relaxing, so clean, so fresh, so beautiful.  We enjoyed meeting people who lived there as we went from shop to shop.  The views from the windmills were spectacular.

Malta:  Our panoramic drive around the island was the perfect choice for our first stop in Malta.  There is so much more to this island than just the city of Valletta where the ships dock.  Having a local guide, born and raised, gave us her perspective on life in Malta. Because it was just us on the tour, we were able to talk with her about everyday life in Malta.

Florence:  I wasn’t overly keen on Florence the day we were there, but the longer we have been away and I’ve had time to process what we saw, the more interested I am in returning some day – but only if it can be a land-based visit and we can spend several days.  Reading Dan Brown’s Inferno probably helped fuel that change of mind.

Venice:  This is the one city I definitely want to go back to! There wasn’t enough time to even feel like we got much of a taste of it, and we were there overnight!  My favorite thing was walking through the streets between San Marco Square and Rialto.

Dubrovnik:  Wandering through the Old City with our guide who was born and raised in Dubrovnik was a wonderful adventure. He was greeted by name around every corner and we met his old neighbors. He showed us Dubrovnik as he wanted us to see it – the good and the bad as we saw parts of the area that are still destroyed from the war of the early 1990s.  The area is beautiful, the Adriatic Sea so inviting. The water so fresh and clean to drink directly from the fountains.

The least favorite part of our trip was coming home.  That question was easy.


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